Michigan Yarn Shopping, Part 1: My Triumphant Return to Hobby Lobby

Hello! Remember me? I’m back from vacation, and I took lots of pictures to blog about. I suppose this is as good a time as any to inform you that I’ll be gone for the entire month of August. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll schedule any posts…it depends on how motivated and busy I am before then. I’ll try to get a more regular blogging schedule in the fall, in any case. There have been a lot of happenings around here that make it difficult to keep writing posts!

Today’s post has a long title, and even more stuff to talk about! First, a little backstory: I used to live in the Midwest, where they have Hobby Lobby stores. I learned to crochet out there and got my yarn from Hobby Lobby. They have a special brand of yarn that is only sold in those stores, “I Love This Yarn.” Think Red Heart Super Saver in affordability, yardage, and colors, but a hundred times softer…and it gets even softer when you throw it in the washing machine. It’s by far my favorite kind of yarn. But they don’t sell it in the Pacific Northwest, because there are no Hobby Lobbies, and I prefer buying yarn in person to ordering it online.

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A few weeks ago I got to attend my cousin’s wedding in Michigan, where I spent the first of my formative years. I had a wonderful time seeing family, but this is a craft blog and not a life-of-Claire blog, so I’ll stop blathering with the backstory. My grandma took me out yarn shopping (thank you, Nana – I know you follow my blog!), and we explored a couple different stores, but today I’ll be focusing on the real shopping highlight of the trip…Hobby Lobby!

I almost cried at the shelves of I Love This Yarn, hehe. The problem was that I only had so much suitcase space, even though I knew I was going to buy a lot of yarn. I’m not the kind of person who can pack light for a week away. I thought, I’ll just get three skeins or so of yarn. That can fit easily in my suitcase. Well, let’s just say I overestimated my restraint.

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There were a lot more offshoots of I Love This Yarn than I had seen before. I Love This Chunky, as you see above, which is basically their version of chunky yarn. A problem I have with a lot of bulky-weight yarns is their partial wool content, but not the case with this! I wanted to rub my face on the yarn because it’s so soft, which doesn’t sound weird at all. (Don’t worry, Hobby Lobby-goers, I restrained myself.)

As a side note, I am a pretty good judge of whether or not something contains wool – I just touch it to my neck and wait ten seconds. I’m sensitive to wool, so I usually come out of my local yarn store (which has “Wools” in the name) with a mild rash on my neck. Whatever works, right? So if I had more suitcase room, I would have definitely gotten some of this yarn…imagine a Katniss cowl in one of those cream colors! <3

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I love the crochet hook section of yarn stores. There were some interesting ones here, like the following…

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Gargantuan crochet hook! I can’t remember what size this one was, but it’s bigger than my Q hook (16 MM or so), which I thought was the largest you could find in a yarn store. Any bigger is usually a custom order. But apparently “Yarnology” rose to the challenge!

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My grandma spotted this section of “Fan Pride,” which made me hyperventilate. It’s basically like Red Heart Team Spirit, which you may remember from my Gryffindor scarf, but this is super soft and RH is not. As it happens, I have a sister who is a Ravenclaw, and she was interested in having a Ravenclaw scarf. So I got a couple skeins of Ravenclaw colors, which are blue and silver.

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The stripes work up a little thinner than Red Heart Team Spirit, but it just makes skinnier stripes, no huge deal. The softness of the yarn really makes up for it!

While we’re on the Harry Potter tangent, I had my mind set to make a Hufflepuff afghan. I’m about halfway done with it as we speak…I’ll definitely post an update sometime, it’s a lot of fun! So I got two skeins of yellow and two skeins of black, because it really is the best yarn for making afghans, in my not-so-humble opinion.

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I found some of this lovely variegated yarn, too…I loved the heathered blue and all the vibrant colors! I think this is destined for a scarf, but I’m not 100% sure. (And look at the shiny label! Just makes me happy.)

So what did I end up bringing home?

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The yarn in the seat was some yarn my grandma chose to make a scarf, and then we picked up a bunch of those free patterns. Then I chose the Hufflepuff yarn, Ravenclaw yarn, variegated, and that lovely pink that I want to make a shawl out of or something. So much yarny potential! And my grandma was kind enough to humor me in shopping for all this. Thank you, Nana! 🙂

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So that concludes my triumphant return to Hobby Lobby! It was super fun acquiring some I Love This Yarn, and even more fun to start crocheting with it again. A trip down yarn memory lane, I suppose. Thanks for joining me in my fangirling, I haven’t used this many exclamation marks since I met my favorite author!

How’s your summer going? Have you done any yarn shopping of your own? 🙂

Unraveled, Part 15

Hello! Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans! Welcome to another installment of the book I’m blogging here. 🙂

As always, keep in mind this is a very rough first draft…I have an outline, but this is unpolished writing, so don’t expect anything amazing. 😉 I hope you enjoy it though, and I always love feedback!

Also, I’ll be traveling and visiting family for the next week, so I won’t be posting in that time. Just a heads-up. Does anyone know if you can bring crochet hooks on an airplane? I’m worried they’ll get stuck in security or something…even though knitting needles would be much riskier!

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Table of Contents

Unraveled, Part 15

The last option seemed just as unlikely, but a part of me had been waiting for this moment for my whole life. As a child, I had spent hours in my bedroom reading Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia, wishing to be sucked away into a magical land. I wanted to go on an adventure, meet faeries, learn magic, and be a princess. (Maybe there were some people who went their entire life without wishing they were royal, but I was definitely not one of those people. Hayden had also suffered from a royal phase when we were both little – that was the Christmas we received matching tiaras.)

It would be best to assume this was real unless I woke up. If you got hurt in a dream, it wouldn’t hurt you in real life…but I didn’t want to assume I was dreaming in case Rory got violent and I actually had been awake.

Neirin was watching me think. I yanked myself back to reality (or was it reality?) and forced myself to focus.

“Where am I?” I said, keeping my voice calm.

“Good question. This is Feylinn.”

That didn’t clear up much, but I felt better now that the place had a name. “Okay,” I said. “Last I checked, we were in Eugene. How did we get here?”

“I should think you’d have figured that out already, Emma. You must not take after your bloodline as much as I thought.”

“I know we came through that well thing,” I said. “But…”

“That well thing! It’s the Well, girl. Show some respect!” Neirin looked like I had just called her mother some awful word. “That well thing. You humans.”

I pressed on. “So is it some sort of transport?”

“Yes. Yes it is.” Neirin sighed. “It connects the human world with the world of the fey.”

A pause. I tried to keep cool, to control my breathing. World of the fey?

Neirin glanced down her long nose at me. “You’re unconvinced I’m telling the truth.”

I was pretty convinced, but there was still a shred of doubt in my mind, that human part of me telling me this was impossible, there had to be some logical explanation. I told that part to shut up and looked at Neirin.

“I don’t have to prove myself to you, but we do need to wake up your companion,” she mused. I instantly stepped next to Catherine, putting myself between my friend and Neirin, who was walking closer. “Oh, don’t worry. If I was going to hurt her, I would have done it already, don’t you think? I’m just going to wake her up. Simple bit of magic. I don’t know what Elide will do with her, though.”

The name Elide rung a bell somewhere in my addled mind, but I didn’t have time to ponder it right now. I tentatively let Neirin step past me and place a hand on Catherine’s wrist.

She didn’t say any incantation; there were no flashes of light or sparks. But Catherine groaned and opened her eyes. I watched as her mouth opened in shock and she scooted herself backwards, looking at Neirin.

“It’s okay,” I told her, placing a hand on her other arm.

“What’s going on?” Her voice was hoarse and panicked.

“Um.”

“Who is that? Where are we?” She looked incredulously around, taking in her surroundings like I had upon waking.

“That’s Neirin. But she told us her name was Rory,” I explained, aware that Neirin was listening to my every word. “We’re in Feylinn, a fantasy world. And…” I hesitated. I could have pulled aside my hair and shown her my ear, but it felt too strange, kind of embarrassing. “And Neirin is fey.”

“What?” A variety of expressions flashed across her face: disbelief, hurt (did she think I was lying to her?), fear, and finally a wary acceptance. “That’s impossible.”

“I know.”

“Very few things are impossible,” said Neirin. “Catherine, you know Emma isn’t lying to you.”

She looked like she was going to cry. She bit her lip, blinked quickly a couple of times, and stood, using my arm for support. “Why did you bring us here?”

“I wasn’t lying about the shawl,” said Neirin. “I told you I would bring you to the place where I got it. That’s the reason I sent Emma down the Well.” She looked disdainfully at Catherine, who was still standing right next to me; neither of us felt much like moving. “I didn’t plan on bringing the human, but there isn’t much we can do about it now.”

“Don’t call her that,” I said.

“Human? Well, she is.” Neirin raised her eyebrows at me. “It looks like you’re coming to terms with your own species, Emma?”

Catherine looked at me, confused. My stomach felt like it was turning over. I took a breath and tucked my hair behind my ear, not looking at her expression.

“Oh,” said Catherine.

I waited.

“I didn’t…I didn’t think the day would go like this,” she said. I peeked at her out of the corner of my eye; the corners of her lips were turned up slightly.

We had already formed a bond based on the weird, abnormal situation with the wrap. In that moment, far away from home, in a completely impossible, possibly fantastical situation, I felt a surge of kinship with her. We were both freaked out and trying to process what was happening. Our lives were probably in danger. But at least we were together, at least there was one other human who understood (or didn’t understand) what was happening.

As if she was having the same thoughts, Catherine gave a quick, almost imperceptible raise of her eyebrows. I got her unspoken message: Let’s tough this out, go along with Neirin, and find a way out when we can.

I nodded. Then I said to Neirin: “May I ask what’s going to happen to us?”

***

Hope you’re all having a lovely day!

Quote of the Day Challenge Day 3 // Cress

Hello lovely followers! Here’s the final day of the “Quote of the Day” challenge, which I received from the wonderful Grace from Doll Dimensions. Click here for Day 1. 🙂

I especially like today’s quote, because it’s from one of my favorite books; this was the one I immediately knew I would use when I first learned about the quote challenge. Longtime followers will know how obsessed I am with the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. For those of you who don’t, suffice it to say that I went to a Lunar ball for the launch of the last book, dressing up as Cress and crocheting dolls from the four main characters. Then I went to another of her events a few months later, bringing her a crocheted Iko. So yeah, I’m a pretty big fan. 😉

Anyway, Cress is my favorite book of the series. I was hooked from Cinder, but this one drew me in because it’s a Rapunzel retelling, which is my favorite fairy tale, but also because Cress and I are so much alike. So I could really relate to her and her thought process, which is always refreshing in books.

Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them.

I love this quote so much I’m not going to say anything more about it, just because it’s perfect as is and I would just waffle on. 🙂 But this is your semi-annual endorsement to read the Lunar Chronicles – I’ve never recommended a series this much (apart from Harry Potter, maybe).

I nominated three bloggers in my original post, so now I’d like to nominate all my lovely followers! That is to say, if you’re interested in posting some quotes you like, I’d love to read about it. Or if you just want to post them in the comments, that’s cool too! I always like hearing from you guys. 🙂

Hope you’re having a lovely day!

Quote of the Day Challenge Day 2 // Le Petit Prince

Hi! Welcome to Day 2 of the “Quote of the Day” challenge! The gist is that I was nominated by the lovely Grace of Doll Dimensions to post a quote I like every day for three days. Yesterday we had some Dumbledore appreciation, and today we’re moving on to one of my favorite books.

Last year in French we read Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and I haven’t ever enjoyed an assigned book so much. A lot of my classmates preferred the other books we read, but this is now one of my favorite books of all time. (Made me think of you, Astri, I know how much you and the NVO like Le Petit Prince!) I couldn’t recommend it more…I love how it makes fun of grown-ups and the “adult” world. And the illustrations are the best things!

Anyway, my favorite quote also happens to be the most well-known, and since I read the book in French you get a quote en français. (I made a bunch of these while I was reading it, since it’s so quotable.)

On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

“One only sees clearly with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”

This is kind of a theme for the whole book, but it’s perfectly phrased here (always sounds better in the original language though!) I really need to reread The Little Prince, actually…maybe I’ll go do that.

Hope y’all are having a lovely day! <3

Quote of the Day Challenge Day 1 // Dumbledore Appreciation

Hello! I’m slowly getting my act together with returning to blogging – the first step is catching up on my posts! Back in April, the lovely Grace from Doll Dimensions nominated me for the “Quote of the Day” challenge. Of course I was super excited about it, but I didn’t get around to choosing my quotes until now. Thanks so much for nominating me, Grace, and I’m sorry it took so long!

The gist of the challenge is you post a quote you love for three days in a row, nominating three other bloggers as well. The hard part is just choosing three quotes! 🙂

Those of you who have followed me for any length of time won’t be surprised by my choice…

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I love all of Dumbledore’s quotes, but this is one of my favorites because you can extrapolate it to mean so many things…like emotions are really just happening in our heads, and all that philosophical stuff. This happens near the end of Deathly Hallows, in a chapter I really like, “King’s Cross.”

Just for kicks, here’s my other favorite quote from Dumbledore:

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.

Which shouldn’t be a surprise either, given as I want to be a writer, hehe. Dumbledore has quote for every occasion. 🙂

And now for my nominations! I’m going to nominate three bloggers today, on Day One, and leave it open to y’all on the next two days. For those I’m nominating, don’t feel pressured to do the tag if that’s not your thing – but if you do, I’d love to see your quotes!

filliefanatic from Tiny Horse Talk
Aidyl from Noveltea
Cloud from Cloud’s World Of:

Thanks again for the nomination, Grace, this is going to be fun! 😀 I’d love to hear some of your favorite quotes, lovely followers – I’m always happy to hear new inspirational sayings. 🙂

Unraveled, Part 14

Hello! It’s lovely to see y’all again! I’m sorry my hiatus was longer than I expected. I was caught up in the last few weeks of classes and the start of summer, which has been fantastic, and I hope it’s equally lovely for you! But the break was just what I needed, and I’m excited to be blogging again.

I’ll try to get Unraveled posts up every week. One of the reasons I didn’t come out of hiatus sooner was because I forgot my Google Docs login (smooth, I know), so it took a few days of trying every possible combination to find all 21,000 words of my novel. However, since it’s now safely recovered, we can get back to Emma and her friends. 🙂

Thanks so much for your patience and kind wishes for me. I’m incredibly grateful to have such wonderful followers and blog friends. <3

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Unraveled, Part 14

I always heard about people’s life flashing before their eyes. I would have liked that; I would have preferred to relive my childhood memories right before my life ended. Picnics with Hayden, long evenings marathoning TV shows while I crocheted, the day I got a job at Yarn Emporium and didn’t stop smiling for the next week. It would have been comforting.

Instead, while I was falling as impressively as Alice in Wonderland, a different image swam into my mind. It was the Briars and Roses Shawl, the bane of my existence. For a fleeting second I saw it in its finished state, delicate roses twining their way up the side of the shawl, framed with lacy edging that let the sun shine through the holes. I saw it so clearly, it was like it was right in front of me.

Then I got the wind knocked out of me again, ground slamming into my back. I knocked my head against the ground and just lay there for a moment, trying to remember how to breathe.

It took a moment for me to realize what was wrong.

I had fallen down a well; why was I resting on the grass?

I opened my eyes and took in my surroundings, unable to believe what I was seeing. I didn’t see stone surrounding me and water at my feet as I had expected. Instead – impossibly, ridiculously – I was lying next to a well identical to the one I had fallen down. But the rest of the world had changed.

I sat up gingerly, head pounding.

The sky was gray like a storm was about to come, teeming with clouds dark as my mood. The trees were thicker and taller, pinning me in. The ring of daisies was still there, but the flowers were wilting. When I looked closer at the trees, some of them had brown leaves and pine needles like they were dying. It didn’t look like the same forest from earlier, but there was no possible way I could be somewhere else. Had Rory maybe knocked me out and dragged me here? But why would she go to all that effort?

The worst part was that Catherine was here, too, sprawled in a heap next to me. I was relieved to see her and I felt guilty for being relieved. I hoped she had escaped, but here she was. Where is ‘here,’ anyway?

I had a sudden, awful thought: was Catherine…alive? The way she was sprawled, I couldn’t see whether or not she was breathing. I put a hand on her still-warm wrist and felt for a pulse. Then I released a breath as I felt her heart beating faintly. Not dead yet.

Then I saw Rory standing next to the well – except she wasn’t the pink-haired elderly lady anymore. Her ears ended in two points, poking through her hair. They were perfectly tapered like every picture you see of fairies. Her hair was several shades of pink, and it looked like there were feathers growing out of her scalp, like extra strands of hair. Her skin was clear and wrinkle-free and she didn’t look a day over twenty years old.

She was looking around her, faintly smiling at her surroundings.

I wondered if I could scramble away before she noticed me, but I didn’t want to leave Catherine. Besides, I had no idea what had happened. I stood up. It called enough attention to myself that Rory’s head snapped around to face me. Her gaze was striking.

“Emma,” she said. I tried not to stare at her, but it was beyond my capabilities. She noticed. “You’re confused,” she noted. “I’m sure you’re wondering what’s going on.”

“Rory, what…”

“Don’t call me that,” she snapped, eyes flashing. “I hated that filthy human name. I told Elide I could go by my true name, my true self, but she insisted I had a disguise. Keep the humans from wondering.” She scoffed. “I’m Neirin, first child of the Nyfain bloodline. I will not be disgraced by you, even if you’re not human scum anymore.”

Had I fallen into a fantasy world? And what did she mean by ‘not human scum anymore’? “I’m sorry,” I said automatically, more out of a sense of self-preservation rather than any guilt. It wouldn’t do to anger my possibly-fantastical possible captor.

Neirin paced the grass, kicking aside Catherine’s feet as she went. I flinched on my friend’s behalf, but she made no move to hurt her so I forced myself to stay put. I forced myself to take a deep breath and not panic. Maybe it was impossible, and completely ridiculous, but it looked like I had fallen into some sort of fantasy world. Like when Alice fell down the rabbit hole and appeared in Wonderland. Maybe a normal person wouldn’t have jumped to that conclusion, but I read too many fantasy books to discount that option.

Still, when I went to push my hair out of my face and felt the pointed tip of my ear, I very nearly had a heart attack.

I bit my lip and poked the tip of my ear again. The cartilage narrowed to a delicate point, protruding from my dark blonde waves. Any doubts I had vanished. There was no reason my ears should suddenly be pointed. I didn’t know of any medical condition that suddenly caused someone’s ears to become pointed.

That left me with two clear possibilities.

I could be dreaming. I wanted to rule out this option because my dreams were never this realistic. In my dreams, whenever I thought about the possibility that I could be dreaming, I usually woke myself up. That was the key to lucid dreaming – realizing you were asleep. In books, people were always pinching themselves to see if they were awake. That had never worked for me, but the truth was it seemed very unlikely that I was dreaming right now.

Or…this really could be some sort of fantasy world.

***

As always, please keep in mind this is a first draft, and it definitely needs editing! Your feedback is always appreciated. 🙂

How’s your summer going?

Hiatus

Hello, lovely followers!

I’m reluctant to announce that I’ll be going on a blogging hiatus during May. I’ve been struggling to manage my classes, homework, and social life while keeping up with posts here. Blogging has begun to feel like a chore, and I don’t want to preface every post with an apology or for you to keep watching for Unraveled posts that will always be late. I think I just need some time to recharge so I can enthusiastically post again in June.

I want to thank those of you who have contacted me about the lack of Unraveled posts and asked if I was okay. I’m sorry to make you worry. Everything is peachy here, blogging just can’t be my priority right now. 🙂

The reason I haven’t gone on hiatus before now is because I really enjoy talking to all of you and receiving your comments. It always makes my day, and y’all are definitely the highlight of blogging for me. I will still try to come around and visit your blogs. 🙂

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I do have some stuff I’m excited to post about, so I look forward to doing that next month. I’ll leave you with a picture of an Obi-Wan I crocheted for a Star Wars-obsessed friend, in honor of Star Wars day yesterday. 🙂

Thank you for sticking with me through all the blogging adjustments! I’ll see you in June!

How to Train Your Droid: A Guest Post by Rey

Hi, everyone out there in cyberspace, or a galaxy far, far away. Remember in Rapunzel’s post when she mentioned having a co-blogger? Well, that’s me – I’m an amigurumi Rey from Star Wars, and I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you.

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I don’t know if any of you have seen The Force Awakens (you probably have, I hear it’s popular, which pleases me), but there will be no spoilers in this post. I don’t particularly like discussing some events from that time in my life, even though I’m a crocheted version of the character and I didn’t actually live through it.

Anyway, I’m a scavenger, not a crafter, so I wasn’t sure what to write about when Claire recruited me for this job.

“A lot of my followers are Star Wars fans,” she said. “I’d really like to have you contribute. Maybe boost my page views.”

“Do you want me to talk about some Star Wars fan theories?” I asked. Before you ask, no, I don’t have insider information on who so-and-so’s parents are, or why Event X happened. Unfortunately. Believe me, people have asked.

“No,” she said. “Too many spoilers. I’ll keep thinking.”

In the end, while Claire was working on an essay, I had an idea: I could write about BB-8, my crochet droid companion. Claire likes making things to go along with her amigurumi, and she correctly assumed that I would enjoy having BB-8. However, just like I pretty much have Movie Rey’s personality, BB-8 is a pretty labor-intensive little droid. I thought it would be helpful to write a user’s guide with 3 things to know about BB-8, helpful for me in any case and possibly you, if you own a droid. At the very least, Claire will be happy to have another post on her neglected blog.

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1. Know the programming

It’s always important to know the inner workings of your droid. At the very least, make sure you know where the off and mute buttons are. Of course, it’s bad form to press either of these buttons without your droid’s permission, but there are times when you’re sneaking around a spaceship and your droid just won’t stop beeping, and you know what they say about desperate times.

For BB-8, here are several helpful quotes (spoiler-free) from The Force Awakens. The first is an enthusiastic review from Poe that admittedly does not give us much practical information:

He’s a BB unit! Orange and white, one of a kind.

And a much more practical one from, well, me:

He’s a BB unit with a selenium drive and a thermal hyperscan vindicator.

Ideally your droid will come with an owner’s manual, but sometimes you find a droid without. So it’s worth doing your research.

2. Learn to communicate

It’s never been clear to me why some people can understand droids and some can’t. I happen to be one of the lucky ones who understands the complicated beeping noises they emit. Every droid is different; for example, R2-D2 sounds a good deal different than BB-8, and I have a harder time understanding him. It’s similar to different dialects or accents of the same language. Canadian French sounds different than Parisian French (or so Claire tells me). That said, since this is a guide to understanding your BB-8, here are three common phrases to know:

  • Beeeeep, beep-beep-beep: My antenna’s bent, I could use some help.
  • Beep! Beep! Beep!: A mailman just walked by! You’re under attack! Call for help! Signal the Resistance!
  • Be-eep, whirrrrr: I might have just tracked mud onto your kitchen floor…

3. Droids have feelings too

Droids are very intelligent – so intelligent that they have become sentient, which is a whole complicated debate I don’t want to get into here. They are capable of understanding you and carrying on a conversation (see point 2), as well as completing complicated missions for rebellions and other secret organizations. It’s easy to think of them as a machine, like you would view a spaceship (even ones that make the Kessel run in 14, I mean 12, parsecs) and pay only enough attention to keep them in working order. In reality, droids need as much attention as humans do. They are faithful companions, and you should treat them just like you would treat an Ewok or a Wookie. (That said, I would definitely not recommend giving a crossbow to a droid. Or to a Wookie, either, unless you’re certain you can trust them.)

***

Do you have anything to add to my list? What kind of posts would you like to see from me in the future?

About the Author

IMG_0809Rey is a Star Wars amigurumi who enjoys scavenging for yarn scraps (they’re easy to find in Claire’s house), building things out of books (also easy to come by), and spending time with her droid, BB-8. She enjoys exploring outside and climbing trees, which usually leads to her being covered in dirt, but never sand – she hates sand, it’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. People often ask her if she has seen all the Star Wars movies. The answer is yes, and she’s just as eager as you to see the 8th episode.

Unraveled, Part 13

Finally, another chapter of Unraveled! I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. As Rapunzel explained, I’ve been super busy, and unfortunately my blogging is going to suffer for it. But I will make a concerted effort to get these posts up on time, every other Saturday. (We’re off to a great start by me forgetting to post this yesterday!)

Anyway, I hope you’re all having a good April so far, and I hope you enjoy today’s chapter! I’m excited to share this one, this is where the story takes a turn from where I thought it was going, and it will also genre-leap pretty soon. 🙂

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Unraveled, Part 13

“You can come closer, Emma,” said Rory. Was she trying to change the subject? I decided to let it go; I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. Still, there was something unnerving about Rory, something that wasn’t quite adding up. The sooner I got home the better, and I would make sure Catherine got home safely as well.

I approached the well, but I stopped a few feet away from it. There was some primal instinct telling me to stay away from it, something humming in my chest that told me to run away as fast as I could. The closer I got the worse the sensation was. I wanted to grab Catherine and run back to the car, drive to safety and never come out of my room again. It was a completely ridiculous sensation; it was just a well, I told myself. What harm could it possibly do?

“Come on!” said Rory, inclining her head to the stone structure. “You have to see it up close.”

I sighed, pushed aside the feeling of impending doom, and stepped across the line of daisies. “What does this have to do with the shawl?” I asked. The plan had been to try and find information, not gawk at a picturesque meadow (nice as it was) and a strange old well.

“Oh, it has everything to do with the shawl.” Rory’s tone sounded sinister now, like she knew something I did it. That was my cue to leave. Something was happening, I didn’t know what, but it was common sense to leave.

Catherine must have gotten a similar vibe, because her arm brushed mine. She was standing directly next to me. Our eyes met and we had a minute of unspoken communication: Let’s go. Quick.

I backed up slowly, planning to walk away until Rory figured out what I was doing, and then I would run. Even with how much I tripped, I had to be faster than her. At the very least, Catherine was; she could run back and get help. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it would burst through my rib cage. I had been so stupid to come on this trip.

Then my back hit something hard, stopping me in my tracks.

Catherine looked at me like she was wondering why I had stopped walking. I was wondering that too. When I turned around, there was nothing there; nothing but the daisies on the ground and the air. But I couldn’t move. I wasn’t frozen in fear and rooted to the spot – I literally could not move past there. I swung my hand out, trying to reach past whatever invisible barrier was there, but I was met with solid air.

My hand started shaking. I forgot about being stealthy so Rory wouldn’t see. I moved a couple feet to the right and reached out again, and the same thing happened.

“Emma,” said Catherine quietly. She looked concerned for my sanity.

“I can’t…” I started, motioning to the invisible barrier and hoping she would get the gist, because I had lost the ability to form words.

She looked at me, puzzled, and took a step outside the daisy line. But her foot stopped in its tracks. Her eyes appeared to double in size, her eyebrows shot up, and she looked to be the picture of panic. So was I.

We were stuck, and I didn’t understand why.

Rory laughed, a sound that sent chills down my spine.

“I can’t believe how easy this was,” she said. “Elide will be very pleased with me.” Her lips stretched into a smile.

I heard Catherine take a sharp breath as Rory came toward us. There was nothing I could do, nowhere to go. I prepared myself to fight her, although I had never gotten in a fight before so I probably wouldn’t last ten seconds, even if my opponent was three times my age. Maybe I could hold her off long enough for us to get away, if it weren’t for the daisies somehow holding us back.

Then Rory stopped in front of me. My pulse pounded in my head, nearly drowning out all other sounds. “Emma,” she said. “I need you to leap into the well.”

“What?” I had heard her, but that made no sense. Was she a serial killer? Was this her way of hiding the body? But the nature center would find my body eventually; it was a terrible plan on Rory’s part.

Then it hit me – there was no nature center. Of course. Rory just wanted to lure us away. And like a fool, I had bought into her plan. I bit my lip to keep it from trembling. Whatever she was planning, I wouldn’t go down without a fight.

A gust of wind slammed into my back so forcefully that I stumbled forward.  It knocked the wind out of me, and I struggled to draw a breath. I hit the well, cold stone hurting my stomach, and frantically grabbed for the wooden support pole that held the roof above the well. My fingers stretched out, grazing the wood, and I held on for dear life. But my hand wasn’t that strong, and the relentless wind took away my breath.

Catherine grabbed my other wrist and pulled. I wanted to scream at her to let go. She would fall, too, and both of us would be dead. How deep was the well? Would we die just from falling, or would we end up drowning in the freezing cold water, looking up at the sky? I had read that you could see stars in the sky from the bottom of a well, even if it was the middle of the day. That wasn’t a bad thing to see before you died. But I wanted to save Catherine at the very least.

Bit by bit, my fingers loosened from the wooden beam. I focused every smidge of my energy on keeping my hand clenched, but then a stabbing pain shot through my fingers. Rory had hit my fingers with something sharp. I let go reflexively –

And then I was falling backwards, tumbling over the stone edge of the well, plummeting into the abyss. Darkness closed around me and I could see the sky above as I fell.

***

Thanks so much for reading, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

 

Yarn Along: A Guest Post by Rapunzel

Hi everyone! My name is Rapunzel, and as you probably gathered from the title, I’ll be doing a guest post today.

You may remember that last summer, I filled in for Claire while she was away at camp. Well, she hasn’t posted for a while because she was overwhelmed with her college classes. I’m happy about this opportunity because I really enjoyed guest posting last summer, so I’m delighted to be back!

Claire will be going on a sort-of blogging hiatus, and here’s our tentative schedule: Every other Saturday, she’ll post a chapter of Unraveled. On the non-Unraveled Saturdays, there will hopefully be another blog post from her, as time allows. All the other blog posts in the near future will be from me or one other guest blogger, whom you’ll meet soon! These might not be regular, but there will definitely be some co-blogging going on for the next couple weeks, or however long. We’re figuring it out as we go. 🙂

For today’s post, I decided to join in the Yarn Along, which is a weekly link-up from Ginny Sheller at Small Things. You post a picture of what you’re crocheting (or knitting) and reading at the moment. I’m not as into books as Claire is (you should see her bookshelves, where I live), but I was excited about this post idea.

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Crocheting

I’m working on a shawl for myself. One of my guest posts last summer was about a granny triangle shawl, and I decided to make one that was more appropriate for summer. The yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze from our local yarn store, and it’s the softest yarn ever! It’s very difficult to frog, though. As you can see, I added some different stitches near the edge, and I just finished the scallop. I’m excited to show you the finished product. 🙂

Reading

I’m what you might call a reluctant reader. There are so many things I get distracted with when I sit down to read! So Claire recommended The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker, because it’s an adventure – and she thought I would like reading about another princess. I’m about halfway through, and it’s really good! I like how the author turns the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty inside out…what if Sleeping Beauty had a sister? I can’t wait to finish it. Claire has two other books by the same author (she’s a huge fan of fantasy books) so I might continue. I’d love your suggestions too! 😀

***

It’s great to be back on Once Upon a Yarn…I’m so excited to talk to you all later! Thank you all for your patience while we figure out the guest posting thing. 🙂 And feel free to leave a comment, or ask any questions!

About the Author

IMG_4303Rapunzel is a crocheted doll who loves crafting, watching animated movies, and singing along to the radio. She spent three weeks as a guest blogger for Once Upon a Yarn last summer, when Claire went on vacation, and is delighted to be back. When she’s not wrestling with her hair, she can usually be found wherever there are tomatoes – her favorite food.